Our thrift shop reached out to BizRecycling in 2018 in hopes of finding solutions for waste reduction. The Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation helped them expand their recycling efforts in order to better serve their community and protect the environment.
We submitted an application in February 2019 to fund employee and volunteer training surrounding recycling efforts by working with Waste Wise to create an effective, long-term training program. Additional collection containers were requested to collect batteries and defective electronics for recycling through the grant as well. Once approved, we achieved our waste reduction goals and also began recycling scrap metal and books that were no longer usable.
Basic Needs Thrift Shop also partnered with Simple Recycling to recycle donated low-quality clothing, shoes, and accessories.
These recycling and waste diversion changes resulted in us reducing our trash volume, cutting our garbage bill by 50%, and saving over $6,000 a year. Additionally, over 180,000 pounds of textiles, shoes, purses, and other items were collected and recycled in their 2019 program year – a 74% increase from 2018!
Our biggest success as an organization in 2019 was our recycling program. The revenue brought in from recycling and the money saved on waste went back into our programs to help people and stayed in the local community.
50% reduction in monthly waste bill
74% increase in combined recycling volume
180,000 pounds of recycling collected in 2019